Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

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Posts Tagged ‘Mercer Island’

My #48 Trumpet Student Plays Catch-Up This Summer as She Enters Mercer Island High School

Posted by glennled on July 12, 2019

At our first private trumpet lesson on 27 June, I learned from my 48th student that she has plans to join the Mercer Island High School Band (MIHS) as a freshman this fall. She took band and played trumpet in 5th grade but then quit. Now, she misses it and wants MIHSBand[1]to be back in it among friends. They, however, have three more years of experience than she does! Plus, she’s forgotten much of what she had learned. It’s a steep game of Catch-Up!

But she has some things now that she didn’t have in 5th grade—more maturity, motivation, and willingness to practice. Her Mom is realistic about it: she knows her daughter will need to continue private lessons throughout the school year. It’s a steep learning curve to catch up to your peers after a long layoff.th[7]

But if you like playing music, who wouldn’t want to be in the MIHS Band? It’s outstanding. I know—I lived on M.I. for 34 years, and my older son was a drummer in that band. He continues to play now in a group where he lives in New Zealand.

According to the MIHS website, “Currently, almost one of every four MIHS students is enrolled in the band program,” led by Directors Parker Bixby, Ryan Lane, David Bentley, and Carol Krell. There are more than 300 students in the band program.

The MI concert band program is comprised of four bands:

  • Concert Band—freshmen band students.
  • Symphonic Band—over 80 sophomore and junior members (auditioned).
  • Wind Symphony—over 70 sophomores, juniors, and seniors (auditioned).
  • Wind Ensemble—55 members (the premier performing ensemble at MIHS).

In addition, there is the MI marching band which performs during football season. Comprised of more than 280 members, it is one of the largest in the state. It performed in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, CA in 1993, 2006, 2013, and 2019.

Besides all this, there are jazz bands and steel drum bands at MIHS. During basketball season the Animal Band takes over. It’s really four bands, formed by splitting the 280-member marching band into four groups. At games, they’re very loud and very enthusiastic animals.

The musicianship level at MIHS is very high. Last school year, 18 band students were selected to the Washington All-State and All-Northwest Bands. The students selected for the All-Northwest group were from Washington, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Wyoming, and Alaska. During the past five years, more than 50 students made All-State and All-Northwest. Four students have been selected to the National Wind Ensemble. The band has performed at Seattle Seahawks football games and at the 2009 Major League Soccer (MLS) Cup match. In 2008, the band completed a successful 10-day cultural and musical exchange in China.

For a full description of MIHS Bands, please see https://www.mercerislandschools.org/Page/5453

For numerous videos of MIHS bands, please see: https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=mercer+island+band+boosters+videos&qpvt=mercer+island+band+boosters+videos&FORM=VQFRML

Posted in New Students - Intro Posts | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

My 43rd Trumpet Student—5th Grader at Northwood Elementary School, Mercer Island

Posted by glennled on July 14, 2018

My newest trumpet student—No. 43—will enter fifth grade this fall at Northwood Elementary School on Mercer Island, where I lived for 30 years before moving to Edmonds. He plans to join the beginning band, and to get a jump start, we began lessons on 16 June. I now have two M.I. students (please see my blog posts of 18 November 2017 and 21 May 2018). dc8Mgnjgi[1]

How and why did he choose trumpet? He heard his cousin play trumpet, and he liked the sound of it. (That cousin has since moved from M.I. to California.) It was that simple and easy. His two older brothers play piano, and he also started piano lessons earlier this year.

What’s the M.I. 5th grade band program like? According to the Northwood website, Carol Krell is the Director, and the band is supported by the Mercer Island Schools Band Boosters (please see http://www.mercerislandschools.org/site/Default.aspx?PageID=5624 and http://www.misbb.wordpress.com). The first school band lesson will be on the evening of 12 September. Band classes begin on 17 September, meeting twice per week from 8:15 – 9 a.m. Each student has one class with a specialist on their instrument, and one full band class. The instruction book will be Essential Elements 2000, Book 1.

Where is my student eventually headed? To the Mercer Island High School Band! And then he’ll get to do some very cool things like this: on New Year’s Day 2019, the MIHS Band will march in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, CA prior to the Rose Bowl Football Game. I did that as a member of the Varsity Marching Band playing cornet, University of Washington, 1 January 1961, when the UW Huskies beat the top-ranked University of Minnesota Golden Gophers, 17-7. May my newest trumpet student have as much fun in band as I did!

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Trumpet Show at Covenant Shores Retirement Community on Mercer Island

Posted by glennled on May 24, 2018

 

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Covenant Shores, Mercer Island

Fifteen years after moving from Mercer Island to Edmonds, I returned to M.I. to do something I had neither dreamed of nor could have predicted when I lived there for 30 years (1973-2003)—i.e., perform a one-hour show on my trumpet! Oh, I still have my car serviced at Mercer Island Service Center, and I still use my same dentist, Lewis and Gibson, DDS, after all these years. But to play “Showtune Favorites: Hit Songs from Musicals and Movies” for about 50 residents of Covenant Shores (CS) Retirement Community—“Who’da thunk it?”

IMG_5573

See? Here’s proof: some of my jokes are funny!

The CS Chaplain, Rev. Greg Asimakoupoulos, longtime family friend, invited me to Fellowship Hall for the show on 17 May. That’s Norwegian Constitution Day—his mother, Star (91), is of Norwegian descent. The day commemorates the signing of the Norwegian Constitution in Eidsvoll 204 years ago on 17 May 1814. More about this later.

“Showtune Favorites” features 25 songs written during 1906 to 1992 which were sung in  South Pacific, Oklahoma, The Sound of Music, Show Boat, The Music Man, My Fair Lady, Carousel, The Wizard of Oz, Hello Dolly, Gigi, Grease, Aladdin, and others. The audience sings along with me, as I play. I use two trumpets, one cornet, two mutes, and three mouthpieces.

IMG_5539

“Showtune Favorites” trumpet show by Glenn Ledbetter

The finale was “You’re a Grand Old Flag” by George M. Cohan in 1906. It was sung by James Cagney in the movie, “Yankee Doodle Dandy” (1942). I invited Chaplain Greg on stage with me to lead the singing, and Roxanne Helleren, CS’s Resident Life Director, accompanied us on the piano. Suddenly, Chaplain Greg vigorously waved the Norwegian flag! After the laughs, he brought out the American flag, and we burst into song. It was rousing, and the audience clapped in rhythm as they sang.

Covenant Shores opened in 1978, and today, it occupies 12 acres of land on Lake Washington waterfront with a private marina. There are 298 apartments for rent, as follows:

  • Residential Living: 208
  • Assisted Living: 32
  • Memory Care: 15
  • Skilled Nursing: 43

Floor Plans:

There are 12 different floor plans in the complex of buildings. Please see https://www.covenantshores.org/floor-plans.

  • Adventurer: 1 Bdrm, 1 Bth, 806 s.f.
  • Tradewinds: 1 Bdrm, 1 Bth, 633 s.f.
  • Tradewinds: 1 Bdrm, 1 Bth, 806 s.f.
  • Islander: 2 Bdrm, 1 Bth, 955 s.f.
  • Custom Islander: 2 Bdrm, 2 Bth, 1,600 s.f.
  • Tradewinds: 2 Bdrm, 2 Bth, 955 s.f.
  • Tradewinds Plus Den: 2 Bdrm, 2 Bth, 1,300 s.f.
  • Voyager: 2 Bdrm, 2 Bth, 1,182 s.f.
  • Lighthouse: 1 Bdrm, 1 Bth, 1,086 s.f.
  • Lighthouse Plus Den: 2 Bdrm, 2 Bth, 1,753 s.f.
  • Lighthouse Plus Den: 2 Bdrm, 2 Bth, 1,504 s.f.
  • Shoreview: 2 Bdrm, 2 Bth, 955 s.f.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

Photos by Greg Asimakoupoulos and Bob Bowen, Covenant Shores:

 

Courtesy of Covenant Shores:

 

Photos by Glenn Ledbetter

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Mercer Island Sophomore Trumpeter Returns to Music Fundamentals

Posted by glennled on February 6, 2011

Mercer Island was my home for 33 years. One of my two sons (now living in New Zealand) played drums in the MI High School Band. And now my 15th trumpet student is a sophomore in that same school and plays trumpet in that same band. Also like my drummer son, she

Drum Major, MIHS Marching Band

has ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). It’s easy for her attention to drift from one thing to the next, and it’s hard to stay focused on something for a long time.

She first learned to read music and play trumpet when she was a young girl, but then she transferred to another school and did not play for three years. To her dismay, when she returned to school at M.I. and resumed playing trumpet in the band, she found that she had forgotten much of what she’d once known about how to read music. Now she manages to play ok but wants to improve. Marching band season is over, she’s moved into concert band, the music is more complex and difficult, and she wants to play it well. She realized she must return to the basics and re-study the fundamentals…with a trumpet tutor.

I am the lucky man who is privileged to help her. We started her private lessons on 18 December 2010. She already plays with such a sweet, solid tone. Now all we need to do is help her learn all those notes over a two-octave range, learn all those music notations, strengthen and train her embouchure, and develop her hand-to-eye coordination and muscle memory. As that happens, her confidence and pride will soar. She will play as well as, or better than, most of her classmates. And, in turn, she will enjoy music and her band membership even more!

She  says she had a great time when the 300-member MIHS band went to England a month ago to march in the colossal 2011 London New Year’s Day Parade (see www.londonparade.co.uk), joining some 10,000 performers from 20 countries who marched in front of about half a million spectators along the 2-mile route. The parade, which began in 1987, is broadcast by over 700 TV stations worldwide and is watched for some three hours by about 200 million viewers. This was the M.I. band’s first appearance in this, the 25th annual parade. Roughly 200 M.I. band students made the trip. The kids and community raised about $80,000 in support of those students who could not otherwise have gone. Go to the links below to watch videos of the MIHS band’s performance in London. Other USA bands participating came from Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

Almost one out of every four students in Mercer Island High School is enrolled in the band program! The program consists of four concerts bands, the marching band, jazz bands, and the “Animal Band” (see http://www.misd.k12.wa.us/schools/hs/hsband/bands.html). The successes, awards and accolades won by these bands are numerous; for example,  over 50 students were selected to participate in the All-State and All-Northwest honor ensembles during the last five years.

Next year, they will march again in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California. Hmmmm….now if only the UW Husky football team can just win enough games next season, maybe they’ll get to play in the Rose Bowl game itself. Go, Huskies! And then she and her fellow M.I. band members can watch our own Seattle team play there. It’s so much fun to be in band!  🙂

There are at least four videos of the MIHS Marching Band’s performance in London on YouTube:

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